SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Jesus teaches that people have an inside and an outside. The religious people of Jesus' day were concerned with the outside (having the appearance of goodness), but Jesus teaches in this chapter that what matters is the inside of a person (truly being good).
- In the second story a non-Jewish woman approaches Jesus and asks him for help. Jesus tells her (possibly in a playful way) that Jewish people would not have thought it appropriate for her to make a request of Jesus, who was Jewish. She responds in a way that leads Jesus to grant her what she asked for.
- With the deaf and mute man, Jesus heals him by spitting. It's interesting that Jesus healed people in all kinds of ways, perhaps so people wouldn't focus on a method of healing but instead on the one who had the power to heal.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- We need to be concerned with the inside of us, the truth about us -- our character, our relationship with God, not the appearance we give others.
- As with the Greek woman, we need to have a faith that will not stop and will keep seeking and asking God.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- If you've been more concerned with how others see you than the truth about you, confess that to God. Ask him to help you to be the same on the outside and inside, and to help you move towards a pure inside.
- If there's something you've asked God for but have given up because you didn't immediately get the answer you wanted, ask him again.